Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 4, pp 829–844 | Cite as

Reproduction and larval development in three scalpellid barnacles, Scalpellum scalpellum (Linnaeus 1767), Ornatoscalpellum stroemii (M. Sars 1859) and Arcoscalpellum michelottianum (Seguenza 1876), Crustacea: Cirripedia: Thoracica): implications for reproduction and dispersal in the deep sea

Research Article


We studied reproduction and larval development in three species of pedunculated barnacles with different depth distribution, that is, Scalpellum scalpellum (30–200 m), Ornatoscalpellum stroemii (100–1,600 m) and Arcoscalpellum michelottianum (64–5,190 m). Morphology, position and number of males in the female/hermaphrodite, type of larval development and the number and size of eggs were recorded. All three species have a pair of pocket-like receptacles, each of which can host only a single male in O. stroemii, up to five males in S. scalpellum and up to 12 males in A. michelottianum. Eggs and larvae were smallest in S. scalpellum, intermediately sized in O. stroemii and largest in A. michelottianum. Brood size was comparable for S. scalpellum and O. stroemii, but five times higher in A. michelottianum. The ratio for body/egg size is almost similar in S. scalpellum and A. michelottianum, but much smaller in O. stroemii. Both S. scalpellum and A. michelottianum have nauplii that spend upwards of 10 days in the plankton while the larvae of O. stroemii hatch as cyprids that settle soon after release. All these reproductive data indicate that O. stroemii invests considerably more in each propagule than the other two species. We hypothesize that the observed differences in reproductive system and mode of development in the three species represent adaptations to their different habitats. S. scalpellum are mainly transported by currents in the coastal sublittoral zone. O. stroemii is presumably spread by intermediate deep currents along the shelf and shelf-slope, while A. michelottianum occurs on seamounts and is probably transported by demersal currents over wide areas of inhospitable soft-bottoms. Our observations are in accordance with the general pattern that, egg-size and propagule-size are positively correlated to bathymetric and geographic distribution, and that the continental slope environment represents a high disturbance environment, where a short larval stage is an advantage.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Benthic Habitat Research GroupInstitute of Marine ResearchBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology and Comparative ZoologyInstitute of Biology, University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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